The name Garmin certainly stands on top of the world when it comes to GPS technology and since they have branched out into the world of fitness, the quality of their products has significantly increased. It is at such a level that many people ask which Garmin is the best for mountain biking and which one should I buy.
After testing many different options, the Garmin Edge 830 MTB computer certainly stands out as one of the best options. It features an accurate GPS and plenty of stat tracking features that can be integrated into racing and training programs. Additionally, it is one of the most durable options that could work for numerous situations.
However, this is not the only Garmin product you can use for cycling and this article aims to help you better understand the quality of Garmin and why you should consider them as one of the best. We will break down the brand and help you to understand the features and some of the value that Garmin typically brings to the table.
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Garmin: A Brief History In Cycling
Originally the main brand behind GPS technology, Garmin adapted to numerous different sports to integrate their GPS technology and provide advanced bike computers and watches. Entering the world of cycling in 2007 with a partnership brokered with Slipstream Sports, Garmin found itself quickly rising to the top.
Aside from bike computers, Garmin has combined with various cycling apparatus brands to help grow the brand in the world of cycling. However, the introduction of the Garmin Edge bike computer is what saw the brand grow in sports. In 2016, the brand entered the realm of professional cycling, becoming an official sponsor.
Nowadays, you will find many tour professionals choosing Garmin as the brand for their bike computers and smartwatches. Garmin is still the pioneer in the cycling industry and has led the development of many features, including cadence sensors and GPS mapping.
Why Is Garmin The Best Bike Computer
Many of you might be wondering what makes Garmin the best bike computer on the market today. To understand why they have such a large presence in the sport, we have to look at what Garmin brings to the table. We have identified some of the ultimate features that you can expect from a Garmin bike computer:
One of the most important features is the overall design of these bike computers. Garmin has gone for a sleek design with most devices and some offer a touchscreen that makes navigating through settings easier. Additionally, the screen sizes can be up to 4-inches, which makes it easy to see the different settings and features.
You might have expected the inclusion of this feature, but Garmin is known for its GPS technology. By making use of the most accurate satellites, Garmin can easily pinpoint your location and ensure you do not get lost on any possible trails. With a collaboration with Trailforks, Garmin has managed to include around 400,000 trials built into some of the GPS systems.
The collaboration has taken trail technology to the next level, enabling riders to spot possible obstacles on the road and ensure they can overcome these. The Garmin Edge 530 is one of the first bike computers to feature this collaboration, which has significantly paid off for many professional riders.
Stat Tracking And Metrics
While Garmin is not known to be one of the best brands when it comes to tracking statistics, the brand does offer you some revolutionary features. With each model, the metrics have improved and depending on the model you select, you could have some advanced features. Here is a small breakdown of the Garmin metric features:
- Odometer: The odometer will ensure you can measure the distance you travel and if you don’t use the GPS, the odometer is a sensor attached to the wheel for optimal performance.
- Cadence: With the ability to measure cadence, Garmin has leapfrogged many of the other brands. This enables riders to measure the effort they put in and the power for training purposes.
- Training Programs: While there are a variety of different other metrics, which include the percentage of climbs and other things, these all group together. The features would enable you or your coach to set up effective training programs that lead to progress.
These are three of the main features that come from the stats and metrics and they will make a big impact on your performance. If you are looking to get the best value for your money, you could use these features to ensure they offer optimal performance and value to your cycling experience. Keep in mind that they do spike the price of these products.
While these features and navigation tools might seem daunting to use, the Garmin Edge range tries to make it as easy as possible for riders to use and navigate the interface. With the touchscreen design, you can jump around the features while riding. However, it is also a useful option with buttons, which still improve usability.
Wi-Fi/ Third Party Compatibility
If you want to transfer your data to something else or if you want to integrate more advanced cycling apps, Garmin will enable you to do so. Thanks to the design of the Garmin products, they are versatile and offer good functionality that ensures performance. Garmin certainly tries to widdle down the competition and ensure you get the best value for your money.
Cramming All These Features Into The Smartwatch
Many people prefer having a watch that is easier to look at and often slightly cheaper. Garmin has managed to include most of their good quality features with the smartwatch technology and improve the overall operation of these devices. Many of the top Garmin watches can even connect with your bike computer directly.
Which Garmin Is The Best For Mountain Biking?
Now that you have a better understanding of why the Garmin brand is such a great investment, you might be clueless when you see the range of products they have. Many of these products are often packed with features and some are expensive. Fortunately, our experience has shown us which Garmin is the best for mountain biking:
Best Bike Computer – Garmin Edge 830 Mountain Bike Computer
- Complete data tracking
- High-end GPS features
- Good battery life
- Tracks all the important data
- One of the most expensive options on the market today
Originally designed for cyclocross competitions, the Garmin Edge 830 bike computer is one of the best options on the market today. While Garmin offers a variety of different features, this one has an impressive array of features numerous training and navigating features that make it worth the expensive price tag.
Mapping And GPS
When you look at the screen of the Garmin Edge 830, you get a diverse screen that can be used in a zoom mode and ensures you have great details and accuracy. The map can be minimized or used in the zoom form which allows you to have turn-by-turn navigation, which could help when dealing with different obstacles.
With the connectivity feature, riders can include a preloaded route, which ensures that the route features various points and all the data a rider would need to ensure optimal performance. Finally, the standard route creation might seem complicated, but once you figure out how it works, it is one of the best features.
Much like other Garmin options, the Edge 830 enables you to connect the device via Bluetooth to get notifications and even set up instant messaging. If you are willing to dole out a few bucks extra, you can buy the sensor bundle, which features a speed sensor, cadence sensor, and heart rate monitor for optimal performance.
You can connect it to your PC at home, which allows you to plot routes and even upload preplanned routes for navigation. The routes will include all the information the most competitive riders might need.
With a touchscreen and small screen size, the computer does not take up too much weight or space. It also comfortably fits into your hand when you are riding. The screen is backlit with an LED design and will be good to use in the glare coming from the sun. You can minimize certain features if you want to access others.
Various interface options can be used and these will allow the rider to track different stats. Keep in mind that you will need to buy the sensor bundle to have access to all of these metrics. However, they will offer you some great value for your money.
One of the only drawbacks is the pricing. While the Garmin Edge 830 does not command the price of products like the Garmin Edge 1030, it is still expensive. The standard computer does not include any sensors and you will need to buy these separately for your bike. It can also take some time to figure out how the mounting process works.
Best Mountain Bike Smartwatch – Garmin Fenix 6
For some people, the idea of mounting a bike computer seems too much and if you are not a professional cyclist, you might want to settle for something cheaper that can be used for more than cycling. The Garmin Fenix 6 is the ideal option and since it is a smartwatch, it is function when you are not cycling as well:
Once again, we have to look at the GPS technology and this is where Garmin certainly exceeds many other brands in terms of overall value. The brand has included the best version of their GPS and this helps give you pinpoint tracking. Preloaded maps can be updated and you can install different maps to keep them up to date.
When looking for a smartwatch, the battery life is one feature that many people often underestimate or forget about. However, the watch includes a standard battery life that will last up to 120-days. However, when you have the GPS activated, it would still give you about 150 hours of battery life. In full expedition mode, the GPS would last around 56-days in total.
You should keep in mind that these numbers are not always set in stone and certain caveats could affect them. If you have Bluetooth constantly connected to your mobile device, the numbers might dwindle a bit. Additionally, if you do not use the unit too often, it might last you even a bit better.
Once again, Garmin has ensured that they have some of the best features you could ask for. In terms of connectivity, the brand enables users to connect to virtually any device and they include features that make it possible to track all your data via third-party applications. You can even connect the device to your PC if need be.
One of the stand-out features is the variety of sports applications that you can use with the device. These sports applications are tailored to make it possible for golfers and fitness professionals to use the device as they see fit. You should be able to easily get all the features you would need when using it.
Finally, we should mention the overall design of the watch. It looks stunning and will certainly help you look more professional. The watch can be integrated with things like the bike computer and should make navigation a bit easier.
With Garmin being one of the leading brands in the GPS and fitness industry, it is no wonder that so many of its products can make it to market. The watches and bike computers often give you good value for your money and they will ensure you have optimal navigation. The stat tracking metrics are also hard to rival.